Writing Online for Pay

As I mentioned in my last entry, I recently finished editing “Fireseed Wars.”  That makes me an editor, natch.  Now, I am a member of a few on-line discussion groups.  Two of them are for writers where we discuss our projects, bounce ideas off each other, and critique each other’s stories.  It is fun, informative, and very useful.  Well, I just finished my critique of a few chapters in an upcoming vampire novel and posted it in the group files for the author to look over.  So far, so good.  Next thing I know, somebody that I have never seen contribute to the group is SPAMming us with a “Buy the $24.99 package and see hundreds of opportunities to sell your critiques, blah, blah, blah…”  Does anybody actually think sending your hard earned money to some idiot on the web is going to make you big money back?  AS IF!  The people making money on these things are the people selling you these packages!  Somebody wants my critique of their story, they can have it for free!  I only hope they will return the favor.  I would never hire an editor off the web from some fly-by-night company selling packages to hopeful writers.  I would first go to my writers groups, find somebody at least as conversant with English as myself (I have a BA with an English Major) and hire THAT person!  How would I know which person to hire?  Read their e-mails and critiques and see how well they did.  There have been a few people interested in my latest projects who were willing to edit and critique for free just to speed me along.  At the bare minimum, they will get an autographed copy of the book when it comes up (sometime this millennium.)

But for the love of god, people (Allah to Zeus, take your pick) stop sending money to these damn SPAMmers!l  You DON’T always get what you pay for!

Wolf Rant!

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2 Responses to “Writing Online for Pay”

  1. Mark Says:

    Hey Wolf,

    Sorry it took me a while to get here. My life has been hectic with many concerns, not the least of which has been medical issues keeping me out of work (long story). I’m glad I finally made it.

    Now, on to the topic at hand . . .

    I know exactly what you mean. I have been receiving emails from a so-called expert recommended by a writer-friend who has known him for a few years now (so she says). Yet, this man’s style sounds like a SCAMmer with his constant “once-in-a-lifetime” offers that expire in “only a few hours” or “at midnight, tonight.” I don’t care what ANYbody says–if something is legit, it won’t have an expiration date/time that insists you to order in the time it takes to breathe. Why would something that good have a brief timespan of availability? The longer something (a product, deal, etc.) is available, the more money it will make, so the entity offering it will NOT put a time limit on it, especially an extremely BRIEF one. The only reason I subscribed and have left the subscription open is because I made a promise to my writer-friend that I would give this guy the benefite-of-the-doubt and hear him out. Unfortunately, I don’t at all feel comfortable with this guy’s pitches (and I have disagreed on a number of his points regarding writing). Even a mutual professor-friend of ours has expressed a direct lack of confidence in this guy’s authenticity (“charlatan,” I believe, was the word he used. You can’t really get more direct than that). Now would be the time to cut the guy off at the knees and end the subsription (I haven’t yet due to other things on my mind. Don’t worry–I haven given this guy ANT money, and he’s not getting any). I have nothing to lose and only my sanity to [re]gain.

    By the way, if you’re curious to read some of his other emails, just for amusement, please let me know and I will send them off. I wouldn’t want to load your inbox with unsolicited emails. They might inspire another blog (maybe you can entitle it “Don’t Let This Happen to You”?). *shrugs*

    In any case, I concur with your advice to watch out for those online wankers who try to snag you in by dangling a carrot under your nose with “incredible-to-believe” deals that actually ARE incredible to believe. As the old saying goes: If it is too good to be true, it probably is. What blows my mind is that so many people actually DO believe these pitches.

    My advice (as an experienced editor, professional freelance writer and holder of a B.A. and M.A., both in English): Get to know a person, become familiar with that person’s accomplishments, read a collection of that person’s work and THEN hire her/him when you feel confident in her/his abilities (yes, I know you already said this, Wolf, more or less. I’m merely agreeing with you. Reinforcement can only help strengthen a point).

    Take care and talk soon.

    Mark

    Yo escribo, luego existo

  2. Mark Says:

    Sorry, that should have read “HAVE been medical issues, ” “haven” should be “haven’t” and “ANT” should be “ANY”. Not feeling up to par to day due to my lightheateness (related to my medical issues). My mistake. Can you fix them before posting? Thanks.

    Mark

    You escribo, luego existo

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